The internet world grows constantly and revolutionize your habits. In the same time we can notice a rise of tourism, mainly in the wine properties. We can plan a great future for the oenotourism, and so will have to grow with internet. To understand how to reconcile the internet world evolution with the wine tourism one (wherever in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, Champagne, Loire, Languedoc Roussillon, Provence, Sud Ouest and Alsace), we have to get back to the various steps of the digital revolution and then draw conclusions.
The digital revolution: a three-quarter time. In the 90’s, so just few years ago, the world assisted to the World Wide Web. Via internet everybody could communicate with others, this is why there was a high consistent interest. This was how the first websites were created, first simple virtual showcases they became strong selling point. This speculative bubble concerned all the economical sectors, whose the wine world, who assist to a development of wine sellers on the internet, some of whom knew problems… At the same time, far from the parisian internet folly, our wine properties follow the action with reluctance, thinking they were not concerned by this phenomenon. Indeed, rare at break of this millennium, were the wine properties to have a website, even to present their wine.
It was in the 2000’s, with the WEB 2.0 that the phenomenon end to convince all the actors. This second revolution was characterized by the development of the internet functionalities, as the social media, as Facebook. The internet user become an active user on the web thanks to the tools available. With time, the properties have understand the interest to be present on the web and social media, mainly for the brand communication. Then, today around the three-quarters of the wine properties have a website, less than the half a Facebook page, but only 15% are present on Twitter.
After the second one, we can talk about the revolution WEB 3.0 and/or the « Cloud computing », again the use of abstract words to describe this revolution.
To simplify is the internet of objects or how to connect the virtual world with the real world. The principle is simple: all item can have an IP address and be connected to generate usable information. The connected items were 3 billion in 2009, so they will be 15 billion in 2013 and should reach the 50 billion by the 2020’s. Besides the computers or the smartphones, little by little we familiarize with watches, glasses or other household goods, but in the future that should be all the items that will be connected. Why? Facility of management, traceability,… We can imagine everything, as everybody will have his “personal cloud”, to stock and treat the information and accessible from everywhere.
In the wine world there are the properties and the distribution networks. Even if they grow in parallel, this evolution is not done is harmony and this is strengthen about internet. Indeed, soon, the “merchant” (négoce) were on the internet, this is why we are not impressed to see the most important wine sellers of the web working with the important wine merchants houses. On the contrary, the wine properties came on the web later and today even if they are present we can always feel some reluctances. Do not forget that the wine-maker, whether from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhône, Provence, Languedoc Roussillon, Sud Ouest or Alsace, is a “landsman”, nothing pejorative at the contrary. Because of that, he bases his decision on solid values and tangible and we have to admit that the virtual internet world has nothing to reassure, and even it is the Great Unknown.
« Making wine is a job, sell it an other, but for years being a wine-maker it is deal with both », there is what a wine-maker from Bordeaux told me. Tomorrow internet will be the key of the business and this is why the wine properties owners could not ignore these evolutions.
Concretely, today a property, a domain, a château, a clos or a winery must understand this great communication tool, it has to be aware and broadcast information via Facebook, Twitter or Google+, and even if it can afford it, hire a community manager or subcontract this function.
But internet is not only a communication tool, it is also a “facilitator” which will help the properties with an online wine selling or to book a visit online. It help to have a better visibility and to be more aware to the consumer demands. Then it help to better know its client to answer to their needs. With the WEB 3.0 and the development of the connected items, it will be easy to be constantly in touch, virtually, with all its clients. Lot of properties have understand it and this is why the actions in this direction grow.
Some are afraid of this evolution, but it is ineluctable, however reassure ourselves, internet will never replace the man to « make the wine », as well as, the computer will never a better ambassador than the wine-maker. With the oenotourism development, we curiously assist to an evolution in the other way, with a return to basics, to the land values, to the human share and exchange.